Broadcasts of Officials’ Audio May Be Discussed

Officials' Audio

Officials’ audio broadcasts may be up for discussion and the Football Association has said that they would welcome talks over whether audio should be broadcast after games so that fans can hear the process that officials on and off the pitch go through.

Officials’ Audio Broadcasts up for Discussion

Adding Value

VAR was supposed to deal with clear and obvious errors in the Premier League but has led to more controversy and complaints about how decisions are reached and what decisions should be reviewed. Now a suggestion has been raised for there to be broadcasts of officials’ audio after games.

The FA commented that the idea might ‘add value to fans’ and is, therefore, worth considering.

Agreement With PGMOL Must Be Reached

The Professional Game Match Officials Limited would have to be consulted over such a move and the FA’s chief executive, Mark Bullingham told Sky Sports News: “Our starting point has to be that anything which adds value to the fan, and demystifies any part of the decision making by referees, has got to be something that we’d consider, of course.

“We then need to look at the counter-arguments that might exist from any referees feeling that’s intrusive but I think it’s worthy of discussion. We’ve got to look at balancing the experience of the fan with the experience of the referee and working out how we can reach a middle ground on that.”

Officials have never really been held accountable over decisions that they make on the pitch and fans have been calling for this to change for some time, especially when decisions impact game outcomes and even issues such as relegation.

PGMOL Director Mike Riley Not Happy With Idea of Broadcasting Officials’ Audio

Former referee and director of PGMOL, Mike Riley is not keen on the idea of officials audio broadcast being available after matches and feels that the “privacy, the intimacy, of conversations that take place between players and referees on the field of play” should be maintained.

It is no surprise that the officials’ union will stick together against this idea but fans will be left asking; what is there to hide? The suspicion around decision making has grown with the advent of VAR and fans will point to the fact that players and managers alike have to come out after games to explain decisions so why not have something in place that allows officials to do the same.

Can Help With Understanding the Rationale Behind Decision

Fans understanding the rationale around a decision can be helpful to officials as at present there is none of that. Fans are left to fume and wonder why a decision has been made and what process of thought has been used to reach decisions.

It is positive to see the FA backing calls to discuss the issue but the ball now lies with the PGMOL and whether they will entertain the idea of officials being heard.

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